Police have been accused of being "unprepared" in their response to the Texas elementary school shooting as parents pleaded to cops to go inside Robb Elementary school but they were afraid of being shot, while the gunman Salvador Ramos entered the school building without being confronted by a security officer before going on a shooting spree.
Questions are now being raised if more lives could have been saved had the police been well-equipped and responded faster. This comes as viral videos on social media show parents pleading to cops outside the school to go inside and save their children, while they fail to respond.
Helpless Parents, Clueless Cops
Law enforcement officials said on Thursday that Ramos entered Robb Elementary school "unobstructed" to commit his massacre Tuesday, rolling back earlier reports that an officer had engaged him. Officials also disclosed that Ramos opened fire soon after entering the school through an unlocked entrance, killing 19 students and two teachers.
This comes as reports emerge that Ramos remained inside the elementary school for at least 40 minutes while cops stood outside waiting for a special tactical squad to arrive and desperate parents begged them to "go in."
According to a report in The Independent, parents said that they kept on requesting officers to move into the school as Ramos continued his carnage with the AR-15 rifle.
New video shows a tumultuous crowd outside the school while highly armed sheriffs and law officials stand guard and keep them at bay, with one officer appearing to wrestle a panicked woman to the ground and pin her down.
"What are you doing? Get inside the building!" one person can be heard screaming.
Another woman could be heard saying, "They're trapped inside" as howls of pained anguish rang out in the background.
There are also reports that officers, instead of barging into the school, tried to overpower the panicked parents by pepper-spraying them.
So much so that a father of a 10-year-old victim Jacklyn Cazares offered to go in himself along with other bystanders after he got furious that police were not doing it themselves.
The sequence and circumstances surrounding the shooting remain unclear, but police have now said that Ramos too went inside the school unchallenged.
Police At Fault
When Javier Cazares learned about the shooting, he rushed to the school, arriving as police were still gathered outside. His fourth-grade daughter, Jacklyn Cazares, was slain in the incident.
On Tuesday, the initial 911 call was made at 11:32 a.m., and the gunman was dead at 1 p.m., when a Border Patrol agent was handed a key to the door, behind which the gunman was barricaded with the fourth-grade class. This means there was at least a delay of 40 minutes for officers to enter the building.
"During that time, right now, according to the information we have, the majority of the gunfire was in the beginning," Victor Escalon, South Texas director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at the briefing.
This means, had the police entered earlier, more lives could have been saved.
"I'd say numerous. More than 25. There was a lot of gunfire in the beginning," he said. "During the negotiations, there wasn't much gunfire other than trying to keep the officers at bay."
Asked why police did not enter the school sooner, Escalon said that "there are a lot of possibilities."
"Could anybody have gotten there sooner? You have to understand, small town."
Parents are now furious at the police as they believe the 40-minute delay gave Ramos all the time to execute his plans that came at the cost of so many lives.